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UCL Library Services Staff Summer School – initial programme and some bookings now open

Angela Young26 May 2021

The UCL Library Services Staff Summer School is a series of training and development sessions, events and online activities aimed at library staff from across UCL Library Services, to support them in answering enquiries and in providing support, training and advocacy to library users and stakeholders.

This year the entire programme will be delivered online throughout June and July, with a mixture of self-directed online learning and live sessions. Here is a taster of what’s on offer, with more sessions to be announced soon:

  • Introduction to digital accessibility (Wednesday 9 June – Wednesday 21 July, self-directed online learning).
  • Creating videos: an introduction (Thursday 10th June, 10.00-12.00)
  • Blended learning by design (Monday 28th June, 10:00-11:00)
  • LibAnswers and LibChat: Developing our online enquiry service (Tuesday 13 July, 11:00-12:00)
  • eXperience eXchange and Feeback from FestivIL (Tuesday 20th July, 10:00-12:00)

Full details are available:

Sessions are open to all UCL Library Services staff, with the permission of your line manager.

Angela Young, Head of Library Skills

Library Services code of conduct and a couple of bullying and harassment guidelines.

Grazia Manzotti16 April 2021

Dear Colleagues on behalf of the Library Survey Action Group I wanted to share with you again three documents, that you ay all find useful. The first one is the Library Services code of conduct document. It  outlines the Library’s expectations of all Library staff regarding their behaviour towards colleagues. Whilst the UCL Library Services aims to be a place of freedom of expression and open communication, adherence to this code will ensure an inclusive, friendly, respectful and collaborative environment. Library Services Code of Conduct.

The second document is a document for managers, These are brief guidelines to help a manager  to know what to do if bullying or harassment is reported to them  and are aimed at achieving resolution informally. They do not replace the UCL Guidelines. Bullying-harassment Guidelines for managers.

The last document gives brief guidelines giving options of what you can do if you witness bullying or harassment, some people have found it really helpful. Bullying-Harassment Guidelines for bystanders

Calling male allies – event on Friday 16/04

Benjamin Meunier14 April 2021

Colleagues may recall the foundation the Astrea in 2013, by Emma Todd and Alice Chilver. I remember Emma and Alice jointly presenting the new network at the Professional Services conference that year. Since then, Alice has founded WHEN (Women’s Higher Education Network) to promote equity of opportunity for women in higher education at a national level.

WHEN organised an event on “Leveraging Male Allies” shortly before the Easter break, which I attended in part, however it was cut short by a technical glitch. They have re-arranged the meeting for Friday 16th April, 13.00-14.00 (details below), which I recommend to any colleagues – and male colleagues in particular – on how we can work together to achieve gender equality in our university and in Library Services.

You can register on the WHEN webpages.

Soon to be launched UCL New Agency Temporary recruitment process

Faith Udeze12 February 2021

Soon to be launched UCL New Agency Temporary recruitment process

UCL is introducing a process to manage the recruitment of all Agency (contingency) workers through a single service provider supported by a network of approved Agencies on UCL’s preferred supplier list (PSL). The new system will manage every stage of the recruitment process including: advertising and sourcing candidates (either directly or through preferred supplier list); shortlisting CVs; carrying out compliance and Right to Work checks; purchase orders, on-boarding and managing relationships with and supporting temporary workers. UCL is aiming to launch this new service 22 March 2021

This new process will replace the current UCL recruitment process for temporary workers, managed via a new Beeline Vendor Management system (VMS). It includes some system user functionality for Library managers as timesheet approvals only. Access and training to the new VMS system will be provided before the go-live date

Unitemp will continue to provide in-house temporary recruitment for all student roles or Alumni direct bookings where Unitemps is the preferred approach

Further updates will be provided as soon is available. More information can be found via the link

Questions can be directed to Library HR (Faith Udeze)

Nominate an exceptional colleague or team for a UCL Education Award

Angela Young11 February 2021

Do you know a colleague or team within Library Services that makes an outstanding contribution to the learning experience and success of our students? Then take a moment to nominate them for this year’s UCL Education Awards.

The UCL Education Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of staff and their contributions to our learning community, with a focus on the work of colleagues that is less visible to students, so work that has enabled excellent practice or facilitated innovation in teaching and learning. Nominations will be judged on evidence of impact and examples demonstrating excellence in various categories, including:

  • Academic support, with a focus on personal tutoring and/or research supervision
  • Assessment and feedback
  • Education success for all
  • Eliminating awarding gaps
  • Outstanding response to teaching and/or support during a pandemic
  • Staff-student partnership

How do nominations work?

Nominations are made within a department and then each UCL department may submit one individual and one team nomination for each category from the nominations they have received.

We are now inviting nominations from across Library Services, from which the Library Skills Steering Group will select the final nominations for Library Services.

To nominate a colleague or team, please download and complete the appropriate form (Word document) for an individual or team in Step 1 on the UCL Education Awards webpage and send by email to Angela Young. Please do NOT complete the ‘Step two’ forms on that page as these are for the final nominations from each department. The deadline for submission of nominations to Library Services is Wednesday 31st March to allow time for the Library Skills Steering Group to decide on final nominations and submit by 12th April.

Why nominate a colleague or team?

This is your chance to ensure your colleague or a library team gets the acknowledgement they deserve, so they can be rewarded and celebrate in their achievements whilst highlighting to the wider UCL community the impact that library staff have on the experience and success of our students.

Work life balance approval checklist

Jennifer L Brown16 December 2020

UCL lettering outside the Student Centre

In order to aid with the decision making process when considering work life balance requests we have produced a new checklist for Library managers which complements UCL’s Work life balance policy.

The document also includes guidance for managers in terms of the process once they receive a request.

The checklist entitled Work life balance approval checklist can now be found on LibNet.

Celebrating Black History Month 2020

Nazlin Bhimani15 October 2020

The Library Services EDI Committee would like to highlight some content you may find interesting as we continue to celebrate Black History Month 2020 (BHM2020).

You may not be aware but UCL’s Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health have a newsletter which lists interesting online events, provides summaries on Black historical figures, highlights literature, and poetry and even shares recipes. The archive of the newsletter is available but you can subscribe to it to receive a copy in your mailbox.

Goldsmith’s Library, in conjunction with the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture, is putting together an online event entitled ‘Liberating & Decolonising Historical Minds’ for 29th October. It features some interesting speakers including the historian and librarian Dr Elizabeth Williams. Do sign up for it if you can take the time off to listen to what promises to be a relevant discussion for us.

At the IOE Library, the BAME Resources LibGuide has been updated for BLH2020 and includes relevant content for schools such as Black historian David Olusoga’s Black History We’re Not Taught in Schools and the Black Curriculum created by Lavinya Stennett who worked with over one thousand teachers in schools, as well as the IOE’s Teach First lecturers, to come up with the curriculum.

John Amaechi’s talk on ‘The Big Questions on Race’ at the online RIBA Inclusion by Design Festival took place as part of Inclusion Week (28th September to 2nd October 2020). Amaechi, a former NBA basketball player, is an organisational psychologist and best-selling author. He recently caused a stir with his short talks on BBC Bitesize answering difficult questions such as What is White Privilege? and explaining the difference between being Non-Racist and Anti-Racist. More recently he gave an interview on TimesRadio where he highlights the everyday racism he and members of the Black community experience.

The RIBA talk is an eye-opener and recommended to anyone who is interested in organisational cultures and change (register with RIBA). Amaechi focused on how to be an ally to Black and Brown staff and how to work on being anti-racist (it doesn’t come naturally). To demonstrate how unconscious biases are appropriated, he showed the audience a video of ‘‘The Doll Test’ experiment which was conducted in 1940 by a group of US psychologists. By the age of four, children have already decided that Black / Asian / mixed-race people are ‘not good’. It is therefore important for us to be vigilant of our unconscious biases – and stand by our values for simply intending to be anti-racist is not good enough. Anti-racists should communicate their values in the workplace making it clear that they will not tolerate racism or any form inequality whether it relates to homophobia, islamophobia, misogyny, sexism, disability, etc. Amaechi does not beat about the bush. On nepotism, he says, if people get promoted to jobs because of the people they know, that a sure sign that the organisation has a problem. Additionally, those that are tired about talking about race after a mere three months (since George Floyd’s death) are the problem. Change needs to happen now because Black and Brown people have waited centuries for change and asking them to wait longer is akin to letting them watch a group gorging themselves whilst they are kept hungry. This, he says, is the indignity of racism. Listen to Amaechi – the clarity of his arguments surpasses other speakers on racism.

Addendum: John Amaechi’s talk on LinkedIn is here – this one focuses on how to be an ally.

 

The Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

Paul Ayris3 July 2020

UCL Library Committee

Library Committee met virtually on 25 June by Microsoft Teams. It was the probably the first time in the Committee’s long history that this distinguished body had not met physically in a committee room.

One of the items on the agenda was the termly Report from me as Pro-Vice Provost. The Report from the Pro-Vice-Provost  can be seen behind the link. I used the usual structure, reporting against the 6 KPIs of the current Library Strategy, but I fashioned the narrative to reflect the extraordinary events that we have all been experiencing.

The coronavirus crisis led to lockdown in UCL Library Services, with closure of library sites beginning on 17
March. With senior colleagues we quickly agreed a set of themes which would underpin our work:

1. Electronic-led resource provision to support research and education
2. Digitally-delivered teaching and skills support
3. Fully digital enquiry services, which require a proper enquiry management platform
4. Open Science as the model for the future
5. Optimization of learning spaces
6. Research collection strategy in a digital era

These values continue to underpin our work as we develop our service provision to embrace the principle of digital-first in both research and education. It is the move fully to embed digital delivery in our education offering which is exciting, supported by £1.38 million of new money to purchase e-textbooks and to upscale our work on ReadingLists@UCL.

I would like to use this opportunity further to underline the Library’s commitment to supporting colleagues in #BlackLivesMatter. I am, as many of you probably know, a Tudor historian who publishes on sixteenth-century England. I wish here to put on record my repugnance at the views on race expressed this week by another Tudor historian, Dr David Starkey. Starkey’s views are repugnant to me and are completely at variance with UCL’s position.

In Newsletter 12, published today, our colleague Amad Uddin has told us about his team’s experiences in re-opening the Student Centre. He says: ‘I feel proud that Library Services have been involved in the first pilot [in re-opening UCL spaces] as it’s crucial we get back to some sense of normality. We are pioneers, what we learn from this pilot, the good and bad, will help other buildings open in the near future as restrictions get eased.’

Stay well, stay safe and I hope we will all be able to meet again in UCL in the coming weeks.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

 

Supporting Black staff at UCL

Benjamin Meunier26 June 2020

In case you missed it in our daily comms, please find below some additional guidance and support so that we can all help further race equality at UCL.

Supporting Black staff at work

The UCL Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team have produced guidance to line managers on supporting their Black staff. This is also a resource for colleagues, and we commend it for all Library Services staff to read and take action based on the guidance to create an environment which is more supportive of our Black staff and students. 

Managers Guidance – Supporting Black staff at Work

There are many societal issues currently that may be impacting upon Black staff and their sense of wellbeing.  These issues are not new, Black staff deal with them all the time, every day of their lives.  However, there are a number of issues that have brought the presence of racism to the fore in recent weeks. The guidance references the work of sociologist Robin DiAngelo in her book “White Fragility”. To find out more, you could view this video of a reading of the book by the author, hosted by Seattle Central Library in 2018.

It is important at this time to check in with Black staff, ask how they are doing and offer them support. Having conversations about racism is everyone’s responsibility.  For those who are unfamiliar with doing this, the guide may be of some help. This guide is only part of a range of resources and measures to support our Black staff at this time.  It is not presented as a solution in its own right.

Free mental health therapy available for Black people in the UK

Black Minds Matter UK has announced they are providing Black people in the UK with free therapy with Black mental health professionals. Details are available at https://www.blackmindsmatteruk.com/

Black Lives Matter: UCL Library Services updates

Benjamin Meunier11 June 2020

In case you missed it in our daily comms, please find below some information on race equality at UCL, with a message from Jennifer Brown as Chair of the Library’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee, as well as some highlights on work which has been underway in Library Services to decolonise our collections and support UCL’s investigations into the university’s role in the history of eugenics. You can also find some training resources recommended by UCL EDI and Library SMT colleagues, to complement the resources which Andy Pow shared via liblist last Friday.

Race Equality at UCL

In the Provost’s View earlier in the week, the Provost reflected on the appalling killing of George Floyd and acknowledged the devastating and distressing impact this continues to have on our Black staff and students. The Provost also accepted that the statement UCL made last week was not specific enough about the impact on Black students and staff and apologised for the stress and hurt caused to Black students and staff.

As mentioned by the Provost, we need to go beyond expressions of solidarity and look at what further practical steps we can take to address racism close to home. UCL has taken practical action on structural racism at UCL under the current Provost. UCL Library Services is part of this action, with one of our six Key Performance Areas in the Library Strategy dedicated to Staffing, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and we will share more about the Library’s work in this area. We fully agree with the Provost that more must be done and that we must accept responsibility for more rapid progress.

UCL is seeking to consult with Black staff and students via a town hall style meeting in the near future, in order to listen more, learn, and decide what additional action we should be taking as a university. If you would like to register your interest in receiving details of this event, you can do so using this online form.

A message from Jennifer Brown, Chair of the Library Services Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee

I have reflected deeply upon the brutal murder of George Floyd and being told that BME people are more prone to dying from the Coronavirus coupled with the fact that there was insufficient investigation as to why this is the case.

To say that the past few weeks have been distressing is an understatement. For many it has been an eye opener but for others it is a reality that they have had to live most if not all of their lives. I have been engaging in lots of discussions externally around what is occurring and what needs to happen.

As a woman of African Caribbean heritage I have faced the experiences, the frustration, the hurt plus more that many are now feeling more liberated to speak about.

As the chair of the Library Service Equality Diversity and Inclusion committee  I am committed to tackling any practices which cause BME people to face inequality. Not just within Library Services but throughout the UCL community which I have already been doing.  This might mean that at times some uncomfortable and frank discussions might need to be had but this is a way forward to tackling some of the inequalities being faced.

I would like to cultivate a culture of solution so if you have any suggestions that you would like to be considered confidentially please feel free to email me jennifer.brown@ucl.ac.uk or the Library DEOLOs (b.whiten@ucl.ac.uk and g.manzotti@ucl.ac.uk). Anonymised  suggestions will be discussed at forthcoming EDI meetings and shared with the Library SMT for further consideration and action as appropriate.

The change required is not about tokenism, we all need to work together to cultivate more positive experiences and meaningful outcomes.

#Blacklivesmatter

Decolonising collections

Back in November a meeting of staff interested and engaged in themes around “decolonising” collections considered the scope for activities in Library Services. Colleagues shared examples of work already being undertaken  at this forum. To take this forward a Liberating the Collections Steering Group will oversee strands of activity across Library Services, aligned to UCL Library Services Strategy, UCL’s Liberating the Curriculum initiative, UCL’s wider EDI activity and with reference to best practice in the library sector. A more detailed blog post will be published next week.

Inquiry into the history of eugenics

In March, shortly before lockdown, the Peer Review dedicated an edition to the outcomes of the Inquiry into the history of eugenics at UCL. The independent Chair of the Inquiry, Professor Iyiola Solanke, outlined why she agreed to lead the Inquiry for UCL and how it relates to social justice. Maria Kiladi shared an article on what our archives tell us about the history of eugenics at UCL.

Many colleagues from Library Services directly supported the Inquiry, particularly Katy Makin and Colin Penman from Special Collections. The Inquiry itself forms part of the wider work which UCL is doing to further race equality.

The Inquiry report and recommendations, as well as videos of the Town Hall meetings, are available on the Inquiry webpages.

EDI training available

UCL Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) are working in partnership with colleagues  from the Race Equality Steering Group on a number of institutional actions. In the meantime, Fiona McClement (Head of EDI) would encourage people who are looking to take action on a personal level to sign up to one or more of these webinars. Pearn Kandola tend to deliver really good, thoughtful  training and their new series of racism at work will be in the context of current times.

The EDI team does not believe there is a limit on numbers who can sign up but if you do have any problems, please let me know and EDI have offered to look to organise some sessions specifically for UCL.